Clay Clark | Traction | “Thinking About Your Problems All the Time And Talking About Your Problems All the Time Literally Make Your Problems Grow!” – Joe Rogan + Tim Tebow Joins Clay Clark’s June 27-28 Business Conference (17 Tix Remain)

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Audio Transcription

I never really considered that until your book. Until I heard the title of your book and I read the synopsis of it, I never really considered it. I never considered that thinking about your problems all the time and talking about your problems all the time literally make the problems grow. That’s right. I mean, it’s the number one symptom of depression is what they call rumination, this pathological obsessing over your pain. Yeah, that’s why stuff like exercise That’s one of the reasons aside from chemical reasons one of the reasons that doing anything You know that running errands is good for your mental health getting out of your house and accomplishing anything Yeah is good for you, but sitting around talking and thinking about your problems That’s a bad habit and the best cognitive behavioral therapists and others You know the dialectical behavioral therapists the ones who do really well with depression, the first thing they do is try to break that bad pattern. But a lot of therapists just indulge it. Why does this still keep happening to me? I don’t know whose prayer I’m breaking into, but I’m breaking into somebody’s prayer, saying, over again. And the Lord sent me here to tell you, the problem is with your default. Until you change your default, you will always go back to being who you were before because you have never changed your mind. There’s nothing as powerful as a change in your mind. Boom! Nothing is powerful as a change in your mind. Boom! Better get your skills, I’mma take mine. Boom! Leave them where they got it, if they ain’t ready. Used to have a lot of homies, now they drop them like a belly. I’m like, boom! We taking over, it’s our time now. Boom! Oh, you ain’t know it, we about to thrive now Big, overwhelming, optimistic, motivational A place, that place, give it to you You know it’s there Where these become your thoughts, and thoughts become your actions So be intentional about the way you passion It’s focused, there’s no hocus We only live once man, and you know this You can’t press the rewind, but you can make a beeline To the next level like you’re headed for the G-Line I was born in Minnesota, moved to Oklahoma Incorporated, built into my rhymes Now it’s time to show ya how a former son recruited can’t turn out the raps With a lyrical miracle flow in the cash to match Yeah I’m important, a Minnesota refugee But I’m consistent as can be as I rap on hip-hop beats Bringin’ rappers to tax, even though that I’m white I can play that folkin’ music but I ain’t vanilla ice Here we go, here we go, here we go full steam 3, 2, 1, dynamite on the scene Boom! Nothing as powerful as a change man, boom! Better get yours, cause I’m a take mine, boom! Leave em where they at if they ain’t ready Used to have lotta homies, now they drop it like a penny Y’all like, boom! We taking over, it’s our time now, boom! Oh you ain’t know, we about to thrive now Big, overwhelming, optimistic, whole mental, boom! And the Lord should be here to tell you The problem is with your default Until you change your default You will always go back to being who you were before because you have never changed your mind. You change your friends, you change your address, you change your phone number, you change the songs you sing, you change everything else but you didn’t change as powerful as a change might. I remember some bills of $4,500 a month just to get leads that I was having to pay for. And that’s only get a lead on a contact to where now I’m paying you $1,700 a month and I got 80 some leads last week alone and I paid you $1,700. And to me, that was huge for my industry. That was one huge thing that just blowed me away. Okay, folks, money is a magnifier. That’s what it is. Money is a magnifier. It’s an amplifier. It just makes you more of who you already were. So as an example, if you’re a complete jerk and you make a lot of money, you’ll become a bigger jerk. And on today’s show, we’re interviewing a long-time client who’s a really nice, kind, decent person. He doesn’t claim to be perfect, nor do I think that he’s perfect, but he’s a guy that I use over and over and over. I utilize his services to plant trees and do landscaping for my family, for my business, because I really enjoy him as a person. I consider him to be a friend, and it’s been awesome helping him magnify and grow his business. And without any further ado, we have the founder of Outside Inc., Paul Sullins. Welcome onto the Thrive Time Show. How are you, sir? Doing good, Clay. Thank you for having me. So, Paul, I got to ask you here, and correct me if I’m wrong, I’m looking at your tracking sheet, which for anybody out there who’s a client, we look at the tracking sheet. And last week you had 89 leads. So, 89 people reached out to you to inquire about hiring you to do landscaping, pool maintenance, backyard work for them outside, remodeling kind of work. And then I’m looking at your tracking sheet like a year ago and you were getting like four or five leads on a weekly basis. Can you maybe walk the listeners through what it feels like to be on the receiving end of 89 inbound leads in one week? It’s a little scary to be straight honest with you. It’s awesome just to know that the amount of work up front that we put in is actually paying off. You know, you see these people, you hear all these things, and you’re like, hey, it’s going to be there, it’s going to be there. And it’s been kind of mind-blowing to sit there and, you know, one of my office ladies comes in and goes, we’ve got 56 calls in one day right after a rainstorm and to actually realize the work and the effort that we put in is actually coming to fruition. It’s been amazing. What I’m going to do is I’m going to pull up your website and I’m going to showcase what you do so people can get a little context and know you’re not a hologram. Outside Inc. Irrigation, Outside Inc. Irrigation is one of the websites. Also, folks, if you do a search on Google for Outside Inc. and the word HULSA, you can find the website So two different websites there. When you go to, we look here, we look at the services you provide. It’s French drains, it’s landscaping, you do monthly home maintenance. If you look at the irrigation services, you guys are doing irrigation system repair and installation. So you’re consistently getting a lot of leads. So I wanna focus on the four aspects of business growth. There’s a lot of we can focus on, but I wanna focus on four today. The first is marketing. You’ve gotta get reviews from happy customers. Every single week I harass you about this and every week you show up with more, but these are actual customers that have actually done business with you. Can you talk about the importance, and I’ll hit play, but I’ll hit mute as I’m playing these. Can you talk about the importance of gathering objective video reviews from real customers each and every week? What kind of value has that made when you’re even talking to prospective clients? It’s made a lot of difference. I mean, a lot of the phone calls, we’ll sit there and go, hey, we’re the highest rated, most reviewed company in Tulsa. We do all these things. And they’re like, yeah, we know. We went to your website. And we saw the clients speak about what you had done around their houses and how well you communicated with them. And that’s how we decided to work with you guys. So it’s just, I’ve put on so many different client reviews and interviews on the webpage and it’s been completely different, you know, through some of your training and seeing some of your different videos from the business shows that you put on, Clay. I’ve noticed that we don’t have to have the best looking and the most entertained TV produced videos. It’s just getting videos of real people in their backyards, in their yards, and actually talking about you as a person and the products that we’ve done for them and how they’ve enjoyed it. How often when you meet somebody, again we’re focused just on marketing right now, when you meet with somebody, how often does the potential buyer reference the fact that you, they’ve watched a video review or have looked at examples of video reviews on your website as a percentage? Like how often do they reference, yeah, I’ve seen some of the videos or I’ve seen some testimonials. Percentage wise, I would say at least 25 to maybe 50%. You know, I have a couple of different sales guys and I have some ladies answering the phones here. And I mean, I’m hearing it all the time. I’ve got an office right next to the lady answering the phone and she goes, hey, how did you hear about us? Well, we Googled you and then it was like, oh, hey, do you know this, this, this? And they were like, oh yeah, we saw it. We already looked at your website and saw all the views, all the video reviews you’ve done. So, I mean, it’s all the time. It might be more than that, but I would say in the neighborhood of 25 to 40%. And again, if you’re talking about marketing, folks, we’re talking about marketing, it’s VISM. There’s other details, but everyone needs to remember this, VISM, video reviews, images, search engine content, more reviews. Let’s hop on to I, images. You’re constantly gathering images of your projects. So, it’s not an event. I think a lot of people think planning a garden is an event, and it’s not an event. I think people think that getting married is an event. It’s not an event. I think people think that raising a child is an event. It’s not an event. It’s a process. Every week, you’re gathering images, before and after images of projects you’ve done. How has that paid off, just the consistency of adding before and after images of projects? It’s been a, it’s actually done quite well. It gets my guys, number one, it helps my staff and us know that, number one, you know, because as the owner of the business, you can’t be on every job, you know, as you grow, it helps me know that the guys are doing what I’m wanting them to do in the field. My company is actually being portrayed the way I want it to be portrayed. But then also, people always look at a company and look at, you know, we pull up at a nice fancy track and they’re like, oh, these guys, all they’re going to do is the big fancy jobs. And not all our jobs are big and fancy. I mean, we talk and we work for the average Joe, the average person in the background. So when they’re able to look on, you know, and see some of these photos of, it’s just a little small French drain, or we poured a little 10 by 10 concrete patio, it actually helps us relate better to the clients and the customers in the field. I feel just having all those videos and pictures. Just to be super clear again, video reviews, gotta get them every week, images of projects, you do a great job with that. Search engine content, our team handles the optimization, the ongoing updates on the website, so you don’t have to mess with that. How much does that help for you knowing that you don’t have to go in to your website and figure out how to code and update a website every week? There’s no way I’d be where I’m at if I had to sit there and mess with that. Running a company, a lot of people always say starting your business is an easy thing. It’s managing it and keep on top of it. And these little details like this, I mean, we’re in an age now, word of mouth is one way, but most, everybody’s going to Google and go to your websites to see what you’re, see how to, you know, how to get ahold of you. And that’s how, that’s the marketing we are in today, society. And I think that is super important to have that up and running. And when I don’t have to mess with it, it is blowing me away. Because I mean, I’ve got to deal with my employees. I’ve got to deal with all this other stuff. And so it’s just a huge peace of mind to know that that’s just taken care of. I don’t have to mess with it at all. Now, so again, we go back to this VISM. And I think one way we learn is through repetition, video reviews, images, search engine content, the ongoing optimization of the website. We handle that for all of our clients. And then M, more reviews. We’re never done getting reviews. And so right now, if somebody goes to Google and they do a search right now and they type in Tulsa tree planting, which is how I originally heard about you, was I was looking to plant trees at one of my properties. I went to a church called Church on the Move, a really wonderful church that at the time was led by Pastor Willie George. And the trees looked incredible on the property. So I kept asking people, who does the trees, who’s doing the work, and I kept hearing your name and that’s how I first met you. Now today when someone types in Tulsa tree planting, you come up top in the search results, 703 reviews. You’re constantly getting video reviews, images, search engine content, more reviews. Let’s talk about that for a second. How much has it helped you to have the most Google reviews, in addition to video, but the most Google reviews? It gives you validity. I really think with people, I kind of tell this to people all the time, is like, I talk to my buddies of mine that own businesses or in any kind of a service industry, and I’m like, what do people do nowadays? They go to Google, they Google. They’re Googling for French grains, they’re Googling for this, they’re Googling where to go eat. And if you, you know, to be at the top of Google gives you the opportunity to actually talk to a client and to bid it. Now, you know, we still have to go out and sell the job to the client, but it’s been very important and very helpful to be able to be at the top, to be able to get that. I don’t know if I quite answered your question. No, this is great. And you’ve got the four aspects of business I want to focus on today. Again, step one, marketing and branding. We covered that. Branding is just anything people see, the website, the print pieces, the logo, the auto wraps. We handle all that with you. We do a lot of that work behind the scenes. That’s marketing and branding. The second step is sales. Sales is converting an ideal and likely lead, or an ideal and likely buyer, into an actual buyer. And I believe that a lot of times, and I’ve worked with companies in the past that helped me with my marketing when I was first starting, and I would say, well, yeah, I’m getting a lot of leads, but I’m not selling anything. And they would say, we don’t really help with that. We just focus on the marketing, or just the branding, or just, I want to get your thoughts on the sales thing. You do a very good job of tracking. I won’t show your tracking numbers on today’s show, but you do a very good job of tracking. This is how many leads that came in. This is how many people bought. How has that helped you measuring and tracking your sales? Number one, it helps me because as I’ve grown, I’ve got multiple salesmen that work with me. Number one, I’m able to see what my guys in the field are selling every week. And it also gives me a time and to see or not time, but gives me the capabilities of looking and seeing how our ebbs and flows are in my business. Cause I’m, you know, I’m, I’m an outdoor service company. So in the springs and the falls, it’s able to see when I need to gear up for employees, when I need to gear up and get guys ready for stuff, um, when our downtimes are so, you know, over the last few years, I’m able to go back and look at it going, hey, you know, January and February is gonna be real slow December. So I really need to start as a business owner in October, you know, September and October, start pushing sales and start finding different ways to be able to get more business to keep my guys going so we can book out over that time. So if I wasn’t able to track my sales, my leads coming in, the jobs were sold, I wouldn’t know, you know, you get so busy in your day in and day out, you don’t focus on that stuff. And, you know, me meeting with you every week as a business coach and able to sit there and look at that stuff every week, you, you know, you get trained to be able to look at that stuff and be able to see stuff ahead as you’re growing your business and not looking at the rear view mirror and going, man, I wish I would have kept that going here. I wish I would have known about that six months ago, because then I would have been able to adjust then to help us now. Now I’m sitting there going, hey, I’m going to make money to pay bills, and we’ve got to get some jobs sold, and I’m working in the rearview mirror trying to get stuff closed that we should have been working on three to four months ago. Now most of the clients I work with, I charge clients a flat rate of $1,700 a month plus a small percentage of growth. And the idea is hopefully I’m the cheapest employee that you have. You know, so look at it and you go, okay, I’m paying this guy $1,700 a month. Okay. Hopefully I’m the least expensive person on the payroll, the least expensive line item. But over time, once we produce fruit, hopefully that small percentage of growth, that small percentage of the growth makes it all worth it. You know, and so that’s the idea is to achieve that true win-win. And so the next, the third aspect of the business coaching I wanted to cover on today’s show is management. So you look at a great project like this, you got to do marketing, branding, true. Step two, you got to do sales, but three, you got to manage. And I think that most people who are self-employed feel sort of isolated and annoyed. I feel like most self-employed people feel isolated and annoyed. They feel like, am I the only one seeing the level of jackassery that is often allowed in the American workplace today? And I have to work with all my wonderful clients to teach best practice management systems. I think you do a fine job of that. That’s something that you, in my opinion, is one of your strengths. You do a very good job of communicating the expectations directly to the client, then you manage those expectations. You tell the client, hey, Mr. Smith, hey, Ms. Smith, we’re going to have your pool, your pool remodel or your pool fix or your pool house fixed or your outdoor siding project, your outdoor landscaping, we’re going to have your retaining wall, we’re going to have whatever the project is, we’re going to have it done by this particular day. It’s going to cost this amount of money. And you do a very good job of managing that relationship with the client and then managing those employees behind the scenes. Can you talk to us about the importance of just mastering management techniques? Well, I don’t know if anybody’s ever a master. One of the things I’ve learned, and I’ve had clients over and over in my field, sat there and go, man, when you said you were there, you were there. You were there every time you said you were going to be there. And you did what you said you were going to do. And that, you know, number one, I like to be a man of my word. I mean, I like to be able to tell people when we’re going to be there. You know, I work in the outdoor industry. I mean, it rains. We’re in Oklahoma. So, you know, you’re going to have delays. But setting those expectations with the clients, number one, helps me to be able to go, hey, it’s rain, I can’t get it. We’ve been delayed because of this. And setting those expectations up front makes for a happy end product with your clients. And just going through the process, say, hey, even when I sell the job, I’m like, hey, we’re the highest rated, most reviewed company in Tulsa right now, and here’s the reason why, but that also comes with, we’re really busy. We’re not going to be able to get to you tomorrow. And the thing is, the people that can get to you tomorrow are probably going to give you the best product. And setting those expectations with the clients up front, letting them know, hey, we’re going to be a little behind. We’re, you know, we’re six weeks out, we’re eight weeks out, and letting that client know that and then keeping them up to date, then the client knows, hey, they just didn’t take my deposit or they just didn’t take this and just disappeared. They know that, hey, we’re coming down, you know, we’re there, we’re still there, we’re going to get the duck. So I think that’s one of the things that’s helping really to set that set with your clients. And it makes it important to them at the end because they know, I mean, a lot, some of these jobs are an investment for the, you know, their backyard. It’s a lot of money for them on some of these projects. And it’s just like, you know, buying a house. You want to know that you’re getting what you’re paying for. And it’s going to be there when you expect it to be there. And we could share just hundreds of video testimonials or Google reviews. I’m just showing some examples here. Uh, but again, the final, the final area I wanted to cover on today’s show, again, just making sure we’re recapping. Marketing and branding. That’s how you generate leads. Second step is sales. You convert ideal and likely buyers into sales. Three is management. You have to manage the expectations. And then the final step is accounting and what I would classify as merit-based pay. At the end of the day, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much you keep. And I just don’t think that most people think about that when they’re growing a business. And that’s becoming an increasingly part of our ongoing conversations is making sure that, you know, because, A, you’re the kind of guy that quotes a customer a price. And you hold yourself accountable to not changing your bid on the client. But that doesn’t mean that subcontractors or employees won’t try to change the game on you and all of a sudden drive up your expenses. So can you talk about that, that final step of just the accountings? I think a lot of entrepreneurs, when they reach out for a business coach or a consultant, they don’t think about the accounting. But I would argue, as we continue to grow outside Inc., the accounting aspect of your business is becoming a bigger part. I firmly agree. I just actually just came out of a meeting talking about accounting and bills and what’s coming in. It’s fresh on my mind. You know, and as you grow your business, one of the things I think as you’re young, you’re just trying to get jobs done. You’re just trying to get whatever you can go. But as you grow, it becomes a huge part. It becomes, I think, more than what most people think it’s going to be. And getting, you know, keeping the money and keeping the accounting, it’s just like this last year, Clay, me and you had been talking about, you know, doing merit-based, because I think once, if you give, if you pay people enough where they’re comfortable, they stay there. They don’t want to grow. You know, as your business grows, you want to grow, you want to give them more money. Most people want more money. I think everybody would, not frown against getting some extra money, but as a business owner, you want your salesman, you want your guys out there in the field wanting to be able to make more money. And if you just keep them on an hourly basis, there’s no growth for them to perform better and to make more money. So this last year, I’ve switched my sales guys to 100% commission. I used to have them above base and I put them over to commission. And the amount of calls of clients looking for their bids has got cut down in over half. He’s selling more jobs by, I would say, 30 to 40%, maybe more than that since we’ve been tracking it. And it’s made a huge, huge thing. Because the thing is, if he doesn’t sell, he doesn’t get paid any money. And so, you know, especially when you find people that are eager to make more money, they’re going to sell more. You know, this is one thing I wanted to bring up and I’ll let you go here because I know you’re a busy guy here. For anybody out there that doesn’t know this, you know, when I built my first company called, after every event we did, I was obsessive about calling the bride after the wedding and asking them to leave us an objective review. Now, this is before Google was super relevant, so we had WeddingWire and the and those kind of things, or we would get video testimonials on an old-school video camera we had back in the day. We would archive them, and at a certain point, I remember I talked to a bride, and she said to me, you have thousands of video testimonials. And I said, oh, yeah, absolutely. And then now today, people go to, they click on testimonials. And I had a call, I had the other just the other day with a wonderful man and he was saying to me, I was going through your testimonials and I had to stop around like page 30 because I kept looking at the testimonials and I realized there is really no end in sight. I mean, I’m looking at this and there’s like years after years after years of video testimonials. And I said, well, yeah, because we document that. That’s a very important thing that we do. But I want to ask you this question. For anybody out there that’s thinking about coming to one of our workshops or scheduling a free 13-point assessment with myself to go over how to grow their company, what would you say or maybe what kind of impact do you think that business coaching with our program has made on your business? It’s been huge. One of the things I’ve loved, you know, the problem is a lot of times with business owners is they’re, I feel, especially with me, you know, we come from, for my instance, I come from, I call it W2 employee status, you know, working for somebody and said, Hey, I’m going to go out here and start my own business. Well, I didn’t go to business school. Nobody’s told me the next steps. What, what I really need to focus on. Because, um, as you grow this business, like, what is it there? You know you can read a thousand books And what’s made it huge for me is to be able to come along you know have you come along beside me and stuff to go Hey, you need to focus on this and this is why you need to focus on this and this is why because When we get when we get down and what I call the trenches of the business owner you’re sitting there going man If you all you do is focus on that you can never focus on what you really need to do. You can’t focus on your accounting and stuff like that. And it’s been amazing. It’s actually, I don’t know how much it’s grown my company so far in the last two years, but it is, the peace of mind is unreal. Cause I’m not looking at my numbers at the moment, but it has been huge. It’s just like, I used to have to pay, I think it was, I think we were paying in the neighborhood of $4,000 a month just for leads, just to get leads in now, two years ago. I mean, this time of the year, I mean, I remember some bills of $4,500 a month just to get leads that I was having to pay for, and that’s only get a lead and a contact to where now I’m paying you $1,700 a month, and I got 80 some leads last week alone, and I paid you $1,700. And to me, that was huge for my industry. That was one huge thing that just blowed me away. And I’ll say this too, you are a client that’s more private about your numbers. That just goes with your personality. Some of my clients are a little bit more flashy. They love to talk about their sales and their sales. But I can say this, I was looking at year over year. So you take the month of May when we’re recording this and you look at this week last year and last week you had eight leads. So last year this week you had eight leads from what I can tell on the tracking sheet and this week we had 89. So whatever that’s worth for anybody out there and again you know we have some of our clients that like to talk about gross sales and we and Paul keeps it more private and that’s totally fine. So I just encourage everybody out there you can have a tenfold increase in your number of leads, your amount of activity, you can do it. But you gotta be a diligent doer. You can’t just be a hearer of these words. You have to implement what you’re learning. And Paul, I really appreciate you for making the Thrive Time Show World headquarters look incredible. Thank you for the maintenance you provide. Thank you for the work you provide. And again, it’s been awesome serving you. So again, thanks for your time today, sir. Hey, thank you, Clay. Have a great day, buddy. Take care, bye. All right, bye. I’m Glenn Shaw, owner of Shaw Homes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Started the company in 1985. At that time, it was one employee doing everything, me. I met Aaron Antus in 2007. The top three things that Aaron did for Shaw Homes was he brought in processes that helped us be able to repeat over and over. He brought in unique hiring skills. He was able to find the right people for the right seat on the bus. And Aaron brought sales techniques that we weren’t familiar with up until that time. When Aaron came, we were selling about 80, 85 houses a year. And during the 16-year period, we solved sales, get up over 400. Before I met Aaron, the only sales manager we had was myself, and I was completely unable to perform that job. And so Aaron brought major changes and great results with them. In the many years that I was building houses before Aaron, I was great at selling if somebody wanted to buy, but they had to be knocking on my door asking me to sell them a house before I could actually make that sell. I had no sales techniques and no ability to to generate sales. Aaron Aaron coming in as a natural salesperson just absolutely transformed that and made the sales experience better for the company and better for our buyers. Prior to Aaron, I would work all week for the company. I’d sit in the model home over the weekend, and I had a salesperson or two, but I was actually out there all weekend working that. Since hiring Aaron, I was able to take my weekends off, even reduce my workload during the week. I went from working 60, 70 hours a week to almost a normal workload. So I’ve been a member of the Builder20 program in the National Association of Home Builders for 25 years, 20 years. And during that time, I’ve seen a lot of sales managers with the other companies that have been involved. And in my opinion, Aaron is smarter and sharper than any sales manager of any builder that’s ever been in our group. Now, some markets, they don’t have to try to sell. They just sell themselves. But with the ability to sell and to train and hire, Aaron was better than any of those sales managers that were in my program. Well, I remember when I considered hiring Aaron many years ago, the thought of spending the extra money was a little scary. But in hindsight, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It freed my time, increased our sales, and at the end of the day, increased our profitability beyond my wildest expectations. Years ago, I was concerned that if I didn’t do whatever a customer asked me to do, it might be the last house I sold. And so, over time, we were able to move away from unlimited customization to pre-designed options. The problem that we were having in those days is that the customer would tell us what they wanted, but they didn’t really know what they wanted. And we would deliver exactly what they told us to do, and they wouldn’t be happy with it. So, as we became more standardized, we’d get lots of options, but we don’t customize. And in the end, that allows us to sell more homes for better margins than spending countless hours trying to customize in just every avenue of the sales process. on profitability, on production, and it provides all the manageable tools that I need to review the company from a 10,000 foot level. All right, Thrive Nation, on today’s show, what we’re going to focus on is how to grow a successful company. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to pull up a graphic that is the theory of how to grow a successful company, but vision without execution is hallucination. And so if you go to forward slash millionaire, you can download a book that I have written called A Millionaire’s Guide How to Become Sustainably Rich. You can download it for free at forward slash millionaire, but you have to actually implement that which is in the book. And so on today’s show, we’re joined by a very successful person in the home building business, a great friend of mine, a man by the name of Aaron Antus. Aaron Antus, welcome on to The Thrivetimeshow. How are you, sir? I’m doing great, Clay. Thanks for having me on. Hey, so I’ve got to ask you this for the people out there that want to prove you’re not a hologram. First off, what’s the website for your company so people can verify that you are, in fact, a real business? You bet. It’s S-H-A-W-H-O-M-E-S dot com. I’m pulling it up. Pulling it up. That’s the website. And when you and I met, before we met, you had been already very successful as a home builder. You turned your dream of being a home builder guy into reality. And so how many homes had you sold, or what kind of sales had you done in your career as a home builder guy before you and I even met? Before we met, probably about $750 million in sales prior to meeting you. And then you did, the year we first started working together. What were the sales totals that year? We were at like 19 million. 19 million. And then when you ended 2022, obviously we’re in 2023 and so we’ll see how this year ends. But as far as ending 2022, how much sales did you do last year at the end of 2022? 2022 we were at like 84 million. Okay, so from 19 million to… 84 million. 84 million. So you’re doing some things right here. And what we’re going to try to do is kind of demystify the plan here. Okay, so here we go. So establishing revenue goals. Yep. When you and I first started working together, we started off with a 13-point assessment. We went over your goals. I’m not going to ask you to share your goals on the air, but why is it important that you have goals? Well, I mean, goals are sort of your guideposts that, you know, you set something out there in front of you and you start chasing after it. And without that, you’re just kind of floundering in mediocrity. You don’t have any reason to get up in the morning and really get after it. And so, you know, I think goals are, you know, it’s you can have lots of different types of goals. And we’ve talked about a lot of this. We’ve talked about, you know, having financial goals and having friendship goals and just all these different areas. I know you’ve got the F6, you know. So that’s kind of something that we touched on very early on. You asked me, like, is the goal, is one of your goals more income or is it more time? And so I said, well, really, at this point it’s more income. And then later it became more time. So it’s changed over the time I’ve known you since 2016. We’re going on seven years, and the income went up considerably. So now it’s turned in the last couple of years towards more time. Now the break-even numbers, again, I’m not asking you for the numbers on the show, but you guys have a lot of fixed costs. I mean, if you go to, you’ve got framers, you have plumbers, you have tile people, you have so many skilled people, you have a full-time sales team. You have an admin staff. And if you don’t sell a house, you still have the service of the land. You still have all the overhead. Why is it important for every listener out there to know their break-even point? How many deals they need per month just to break even? Well, yeah, because you’re going backwards real quick. And it doesn’t take very long if you’re at the beginning of your business. It doesn’t take very long for you to be in a place where the creditors are knocking at your door and you can’t pay your bills and all of a sudden you’re going to lose all your, for us, all of our trades, all of our suppliers are going to start backing out. So you’ve got to know what that number is that lets you tread water so that, okay, this is the worst case scenario, everything above that, at least I’m into the profit zone. So you go out of business pretty quick. Most businesses don’t last more than just a few months if they get below that break-even number. Now, folks, again, these might seem like simple steps, but they’re all the linear steps you have to take to create time, freedom, and financial freedom. And if you want to grow your company, this is how you do it. Box number three, though, is you have to know the hours you’re willing to work. Now, your incredible wife is here off-camera. It’s for accountability. So, at any point, you know, she could yell like, amen, or boo. But you guys are on the same page with the hours you’re willing to work. And you guys, as a couple, I want to brag on both of you. You guys both committed to sacrificing time and energy and a lot of things to get to where you’re at in life. And then as you had your children, you raised them, you decided to devote time to raising said kids. And now that your kids are older, you’re devoting time to raising these kids. So it’s not like you advocated being a parent while also growing a company. You did both well. Let me get your thoughts on sitting down with your spouse, if you’re watching this today, or your significant other, and making sure you’re on the same page about how many hours per week you’re willing to work. Well, yeah, I mean, you don’t want to grow a business to make a whole bunch of money just so you can split it in half later. Oh. Because that’s kind of what happens when you don’t work out those details ahead of time. And so my wife and I have been married 25 years. We’ve been together for four before that. And so yeah, 20, sorry, 26. Did I just say 25? 26. Real quick, I hate to do this to you. I just got in trouble. I hate this. Your wife just turned 27 on Thursday and what you said is 100% false. Okay, so the unique value proposition here. Now let’s talk about this. Whether it’s growing a home building company or a dog training business or a haircut chain or a carpet cleaning franchise or whatever business we’re involved in helping to grow, you have to sit down as a listener out there, as a business owner, and you’ve got to figure out what makes your company unique. Absolutely. So I want to ask you, what makes Shaw Homes unique in the marketplace with other home builders? Yeah, we have more furnished and decorated model homes than any other builder in the market. So a lot of times people, when they walk into a home and they’re trying to decide if they like the floor plan, the layout, whatever, they, usually most builders in our market have an empty house that they walk into. It just kind of echoes when you walk through it, there’s no furniture or anything. And we completely, as you can see in this little video here, we completely furnish and decorate it, make it beautiful. We are the most award-winning builder in the state of Oklahoma. That’s true. We’ve won like five times as many awards as any other builder in the market. So definitely that is one of our big takeaways. And I’m gonna throw you under the bus real quick, and I don’t mean to do this super passively aggressively, it’ll just be more of a subtle passive aggressive. When I met you, you guys had all these awards, but no one knew. That’s true. It was like this weird, bizarre thing where you had all these awards. I remember talking to you and I’m like, what makes you guys different? And you’re like, you know, we do a good job and you’re gonna be nice about it. You’re a good salesperson. But I said, well, I mean, tell me about the awards. And you’re like, well, we got this award, that award, this award, like 45 minutes later, it’s like that award, this award, I need to shave now, this award, that award, I need to go brush my teeth, this award, that award, I want to go mow the lawn now, this award, that award, I’m thinking about retiring, this award, my kids are turning 18, I can see it, this award, you’re just going, and this award, and that award. And so we put those on the website and that helped. And the other thing you guys were, we needed to change was all these people were saying great things, but we didn’t have video reviews of them saying it on camera. So it was like your online reputation didn’t match your real world reputation. You had so much good momentum there and so many people love you guys. And now you guys have, would you say, 100 video reviews? Oh gosh, I would say more than that. We’ve got, yeah, we have a lot. Everyone can keep going. You can just keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I was scrolling. And this is actually all that’s on this page. If you go to our YouTube channel, we have way more than this. So again, and this is all the stuff. You’re going to grow a successful company, folks. Step one, you’ve got to figure out your revenue goals. Step two, you’ve got to figure out your break-even goal. Step three, sit down for an hour of power. Sit down with your spouse. Make sure that you guys are on the same page of your hours you’re willing to work. Step four, unique value proposition. Figure out what it is that makes you unique. And we have an in-depth guide that you can download for free at forward slash millionaire if you get stuck. Next box, you’ve got to improve your branding, your website, your one sheet, in your case, model home presentations, business cards, social media branding, everything that a customer sees needs to be first class. And I was talking to a guy named Ronnie Morales today, and it’s Morales Brothers. I think you met him at a conference. He told me, and I’m not slamming Ronnie. Ronnie, if you’re listening, I’m not slamming you. This is the real thing. Ronnie said he’d listened to our show for seven consecutive years before ever reaching out. And now he’s reached out and he’s up 57% in about eight months. That’s awesome. And we’re going to put his story on part two of today’s show because he’s in Texas and he’s seven years behind you, but he’s doing a great job. What do you think that thing is where people have bad branding and we’re not aware of it? Someone hasn’t brought it to our attention? What causes bad branding? You know, the number one thing I hear business owners say is, well, you know, I don’t really need good branding because I sell everything by word of mouth. Oh, yeah, baby. I’ve got such an incredible reputation. You do. Everybody just comes to me by word of mouth. And then it’s like, okay, yeah, but how much business did you do last year? Well, not very much. And, you know, I’m really unprofitable, but I’ve got great reputation out there and I get a lot of word of mouth. So when people switch over to starting to improve branding, I know you helped us a lot with that in just creating a lot better looking website, creating a, you know, we’ve got an office environment now that is when people walk into our model home, they are blown away. We truly wow our customers when they come to our model homes. It’s a one of a kind experience in the state of Oklahoma. And the process of that, you know, just going through, branding it so that it looks really top-notch. And, you know, that includes everything from, you know, marketing to all of your senses and everything else. So it just really brought us to another level. And when the customer comes in and experiences us after having walked through other builders’ homes, they usually come in and go, you guys are just on a whole nother level. It’s sights, sounds, smells, experiences, everything that your customer sees, they’re grading you on. And you might not know that they are even judging you because they’re not filling out the form. And I have a funny story to share with you that’s kind of sad. I was working with a fitness guy years ago and I’m not gonna tell you what studies and what city folks, I know you wanna know, but I’m not gonna tell you. And he said he filled out the form because his wife wanted him to schedule a 13 point assessment. He did not want to. And he tells me, Clay, honestly, I’m just doing the call because my wife wants me on the phone. I got to, I don’t really don’t get leads from social media. I don’t get leads from marketing. I get all my leads word of mouth, like you were saying. And I said, well, let me just do this. Let’s just, um, this first month working together, let me get all the passwords for your Facebook, your Google, your YouTube. And I’m just, as the first month we, I would just, with every single client, we optimize your YouTube, your Facebook, your Instagram, your Twitter, your, you know, all that. We log on, this is a fitness guy, he was spending like 400 bucks a week, every week on ads. And he hadn’t known, he wasn’t aware that every time a lead came in, it got stuck in Facebook and went to an email address that he wasn’t checking. So think about this. And it’s like 15 to 20 leads a week for years this guy had. That’s not good. And he didn’t even, so I’m going, you’re spending, you know, 20 grand a year on ads that you’re not getting anything from. And are you aware that the phone number on your site rings to a phone that’s no longer real, a real phone? And I’m serious, this was real. And then he had before and after photos where somebody had had the idea of let’s get before and after photos, you know, where you interview someone before they start working out? Yeah. But then they never completed the thought. You know what I’m saying? I do. Where it’s like they interview them about getting in shape, but then they never actually like aired the part where they’re in shape. Oh, no. So it’s just sort of like an interview with people that are not in shape. And I’m like, I did. And again, he’s a busy guy, busy entrepreneur. That kind of stuff is very common. It’s kind of laughable if it’s not your company. But OK, next box. You’ve got to determine your customer acquisition costs. How much does it cost you to get a customer? So Aaron, you guys run ads on Google, on Facebook, on retargeting ads. You have massive signage. There’s a lot of stuff you do. Why is it important to know how much it costs you at the end of the day to get an actual new buyer of a shaw home? Well, because if you want more of those, you know what it costs to go generate more of those. And it’s a cost where it’s like, okay, well, I’m down in sales this month or this quarter or whatever, and I need four more sales to make it a good quarter here before the end of the quarter. And it’s like, I know I can go put money into that and it’s going to cost me X number of dollars per customer to get there. And so then it’s just a matter of, do I want to spend that money to get to that point? So for us, it’s a pretty high number because it’s a big ticket item. But for some people, it might be very small to get that, each customer. But for us, you’ve got to know what the number is because ultimately, that goes into the price of your product and whatever you sell. We’re doing homes. That is one of our line item costs in our homes. That’s what costs. Yeah. Now, if you go to any of the businesses that I’m involved in, you go to forward slash staff, I put in the password here. Once I put in the password, I have all of the documents needed to run the company. And they’re all saved. So the checklist for the manager, the opening checklist for the assistant manager, the bathroom cleaning checklist, everything needed to grow the companies all in one place. And therefore, the business, everybody who works there knows where to go to find those documents. This is the kind of stuff that fires me up and it makes other people crazy. So with the conferences we do, if we ever do a conference that’s out of town, I have a checklist of stuff I print out. I know it seems kind of crazy for people, but this is real. I print it out and it’s like, okay, socks. I’m gone for four days, I want to have 12 pairs of socks. Why? Because it could be hot. I don’t know. It could get wet. I don’t know. I have a list of deodorant and socks and shaving and I have a laptop and a backup laptop and I have patch cables and XLR cables and we bring three… You’ve seen all this stuff, but it’s multiple monitors, backup monitors. It’s backups for everything. When you guys build a Shaw home, you’re not moving off of guesswork. There’s blueprints, there’s plans, there’s systems, so houses don’t fall down. There’s somebody out here listening right now that doesn’t have systems in place, they don’t have checklists, they don’t have it, and so they have to think about everything all the time because if not, they forget a step. What would you say is the importance of having taken the time to have built these systems now? It is the night and day difference between running around like your hair is on fire every day, constantly playing firefighter, or you know, you hear people say, oh, I’m up to my armpits in alligators, you know, it’s because you don’t have systems and processes. And every time at Shaw Homes, every time that we have a problem come up, we automatically go, okay, what step in our system did this fall apart in? And what’s broken in that step and how can we fix it? So it never happens again. So we go fix the process. You know, we address the problem for the customer, but then we go back after that and we go, how do we fix the process so we don’t repeat this problem? And the business owners that are running around with their hair on fire all the time, it’s because there’s no systems, no processes. Everything is urgent. Everything is hair on fire. Correct. And it is a chaos world that you live in. And if you’re going to build homes for a living and build a lot of them, you cannot live in that chaos world. Now, this next box, I get excited about all these boxes. This is what I get excited about. This right here is what I care about. Okay, the next box is management and execution. You have people on your team, and I’m just gonna give some examples, and I hope this benefits somebody out there listening. You have people on your team, it’s their responsibility, every time that you do a new house, they go out there and they design, or they get the blueprint on the website. They get the new design of the home, because people wanna see floor plans. So somebody’s job is to get those up there. Somebody gets photos of every house that you guys are building. Somebody gets videos of every house. Somebody puts them all up for sale. Somebody answers the phone every day. Somebody calls the leads every day. Somebody cleans the bathroom every day. Somebody builds the houses every day. Now this is what I find, and I’m sure none of our listeners can relate to this. Some of our listeners fire people and then nothing happens. So work with me on this. There’s listeners out there that I talk to every day because we do free 13-point assessments. So I talk to two or three people a day who go to They want to schedule a consultation. And the other day you heard me talking to Jordan. I said, Jordan, go ahead and keep setting those. He set an appointment with someone who’s definitely not a good fit. And you could tell he had a little question if that was okay. And I said, I would rather you set an appointment with somebody than not, because I don’t know if who’s a good fit or not. But the idea though is I sit down, I was talking to a guy the other day and he was like, the reason why my team did not get Google reviews or videos reviews this week is because we fired a guy. And I go, cause I’m just asking him, where are we stuck? What’s your biggest limiting factor? I have a big process I go through in my evaluation. I said, who calls the leads? He’s like, well, normally I have a person that calls the leads, but we just fired her. And I mean this, I’m going, how long have you been in business? This guy’s been in business for over 10 years and he’s reaching out for help, good person. We’re trying to help him. I think it’s going to be a good fit. But so I said, so basically everybody follows the systems until they don’t work there anymore. And then no one does the systems. And you go back and forth vacillating from things being done to not being done. And one of my favorite things about working with you guys is that you’re honest people. What does that mean? You do your best to do what you say you’re going to do, and you hold yourself and the employees accountable. Absolutely. But what would happen if every week you, if somebody wasn’t performing, you remove them from the position, and then the houses weren’t built for the week because something wasn’t going well, or because maybe a salesperson wasn’t performing at the peak, you let them go and the next thing you know… What would happen if you managed your company that way? It would be a disaster. I mean, I can’t just fire my superintendent without having somebody already ready to take over all of those responsibilities because I’ve got materials showing up at the job site today, tomorrow, and the next day. I’ve got trades showing up who need some supervision, need to know what they’re supposed to be doing. If I fire that guy with no warning, somebody else has to come fill in that position. So for us, we try to never have that gap happen. And sometimes it’s like you know that you’re going to need to fire somebody, and you can see the writing on the wall. But you want to get the next person up and ready to go before that happens. And you guys have a weekly meeting. So we talk a lot on this show from an employer perspective, but how frustrating would it be to be an A player employee and you’re working for a C player boss? You know, a boss that doesn’t have a staff meeting, that’s not organized, that doesn’t pay people on time, that’s constantly emotional. I see that a lot. And so management is a learned skill. And thankfully, you know, when I first met with you, you’d already really mastered, in my opinion, managing people. But this next box is where I thought we needed some help, was to build a system for constantly recruiting new people, because certain people work for Shaw Homes for three years or four years, and then they want to go move, they want to have a baby, they want to stay home, they want to get a new job. And even though you have low turnover at Shaw, certain people get to their expiration date, and it’s time for them to move on to something else. And because we didn’t have a process in place at Shaw at that time to consistently bring in a pipeline of new people, it made it difficult to do the management that was needed. Can you talk about the importance of implementing a human resources program for hiring, inspiring, training and retaining good people? It’s huge. I mean, that was definitely an Achilles heel for us. And you helped us a lot with that. Putting in a, where every single week I’m seeing potential candidates that could come work for us and they’re job shadowing and seeing what it’s like to work in our company every single week. It does multiple things. It helps the people who work there to know, hey, there’s other people who desire to come work here. There we go. And if I’m not doing my job, I might get replaced. So there’s a little bit of that. And then it’s also a thing of, you know, the people who are shadowing get to see the job being done by people who are happy doing their job and it helps them to want to come be a part of Shaw Homes. I’ve got a very long list of people right now in every single position that would be excited to come work for us. If I did all of a sudden find myself with an opening, you know, because occasionally people leave with no notice or whatever, you know, something happens family emergency, whatever, right? And you have that Oh I need to replace somebody immediately and the great thing about it is I have a whole bunch of people that I could plug into That position very quickly because every single week I am interviewing Now the next box here is you got to do your accounting and in order to automate or to earn millions You have to automate your accounting. What does that mean? You have to have a system in place for making sure you price your products and services correctly and that you pay yourself first, that you set aside a set amount of money to pay yourself and your staff. And all these things work together. And what I find is people ask me, often just not knowing, they come from a place of a good heart, they don’t know, they say to me, Clay, what is the most important step in growing Shaw Homes? I’ve heard Aaron on the show, he’s a great guy. Clay, I’ve heard PMHOKC on the show. Clay, I’ve seen Oxifresh on the show. What was the most important thing they did? And to me, that’s like asking a hiker, what was the most important step you took to get to the top of that mountain? Well, it was the one we took there an hour ago. I took a left step. No, it’s also, I would like to ask a baker, what’s the most important ingredient? Is it milk? Is it sugar? Is it eggs? Is it, you know, it’s like asking a farmer, what’s the most important thing, feeding the animals or watering them? What’s the key to your success? There’s just certain questions that I understand people want to know, but all of this has to work together and nothing works unless you do. So I have three final questions for you. For anybody out there that’s thinking about scheduling a consultation, a free consultation with thrive and myself, obviously they’re stuck with me if they fill out the form. I’m the only person that does 13-point assessments. I believe we, I’ve seen it since 2005, we help people decrease their costs, increase their time, freedom, and profits. What would you say is the benefit of scheduling that 13-point assessment? Well, actually, the 13-point assessment was very eye-opening for me. You asked me a lot of tough questions that I probably should have been asking myself and wasn’t. And so as we went through the questions, I was like, I think at every question you asked me, I was like, oh, that’s a good question. And I was like, hang on, let me think about that for a minute. So I find that it kind of helps open your eyes to, you know, these are some things that I know I have some areas of weakness. And then there were, I think a couple of the questions where I was like, oh, I know the answer to this one. I got this one, no problem. But it helps you sort of identify, I walked away having identified areas of strength and areas of weakness, even though that really wasn’t the purpose of the phone call necessarily, it helped me to see that. And then I was like, hmm, I think I have a need in a couple of these areas and I didn’t really know what to do for myself. I didn’t have the answers. You know, in part three of today’s show, part two, we’re gonna show the Ronnie Morales story. On part three, we’re gonna do a testimony with Myron. And Myron just bought his first Lamborghini today, and he’s super fired up. And so Myron’s about six years down the path. We’ve been working with you for about eight years, whereas Ronnie’s been with us for less than a year. And it’s at a certain point that we have to take action. Knowledge without application is meaningless. What would you say to somebody who’s like, you know, it’s $1,700 a month, and, you know, I’m spending that much right now on random ads and that much money on random regrettable purchases at the gas station and a lot of iTunes I’m downloading. I’m spending $1,700 a month on various things. I don’t know if I can afford it because I’ve just bought another vehicle that I can’t afford, but I’m leasing it. What would you say to anybody who’s kind of on that fence? I would say you need to do it. It has been a game changer for us. I don’t know why you would sit there and think $1,700 a month is too much money to spend. Go find the money somewhere. Go empty out your sofa cushions. Go sell the stuff that you have in your house that you’re not using. I mean, go get, you know, whatever you need to do to get to that place, you need to find that $1,700. And I will say this, that cost was very quickly replaced with the extra money we were making. And I’ve seen, I’ve actually seen, because I’ve been around you for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of your clients come in and right off the bat, they’re real nervous about, am I going to be able to, you know, because maybe they’re a smaller company or whatever. And they’re like, I’m wondering if I’m going to be able to handle this 1700 a month. And then I see them six months later and I’m like, how’s it going now? And they’re like, man, we’re just hitting record after record. I have referred several business owners to you. And they’re doing great. That are killing it. And that, you know, I’ll give one example. I won’t name the person, but I did send one of my very good friends to you who was on the verge of losing his business because he just wasn’t able, he had bought another one of the shops of what he does. He opened it and it was not profitable and it was gonna take under both of his shops. And I sent him over to you. And I remember about three months later, I asked him, how’s it going? And he goes, man, we just had a record breaking month. This was amazing. And- And by the way, said first, you just hit another record breaking month, just so you know. Yeah, and I know right now, not only does he have way more income, but he has a lot more time freedom because he’s been working with you for many years now. And so that was, it changed his life, just like it changed my life. I would say, if you’re thinking about, you know, doing a 13 point assessment, stop thinking. Dial the phone. Pause this video. Make the phone call. Reach out to Clay. Get it started right now. Now, final question I have is I think people look at and they go, man, there’s 500 locations now. Yeah. And they look at Elephant in the Room and they go, there’s five brick and mortar locations now. They look at Shaw Homes and they go, you know, these are big success stories. I don’t know that I can do it. What would you say to somebody out there that just feel like they might not have the, like all this stuff they’re going to learn is going to be over their head, too complicated. What would you say? I would say the information, the ideas are easy. It’s the application that is difficult for people. The ideas that you share, there’s nothing that’s like, oh my God, I don’t have a PhD, therefore I can’t do it. I feel like it’s all very, very simple stuff, but it is a lot of action to get traction. And you got to get the action going. And I think if somebody has diligence and discipline, or can learn diligence or discipline, they’re going to do extremely well. And it’s not about education, it’s about action. Now, Aaron, I got one thing I want to say, and then we’ll kind of wrap up today’s show, okay, with a boom, because boom stands for big, overwhelming, optimistic momentum, and that’s what’s required to have success. People watching this are going, Aaron, he looks like a normal guy. Well, that’s true. They say, well, he sounds like a normal guy. Sounds like an all right guy. You know, that’s true. But the one thing you can’t quite picture on the show, and I want to just give that gift to you folks who are watching, is Aaron smells tremendous. It’s like a, if you had smell-o-vision, if you could just get up there and just smell that, it’s incredible. And it’s really, it’s his aroma that allows him to achieve massive success. So unless, if you’re out there and you’re going, what’s the secret sauce? It’s not a sauce, it’s more of just a smell. So I don’t know if you qualify to have the kind of success he has unless you smell like he smells. It’s a really tremendous smell. Okay, let’s do this thing with a boom. Here we go. Three, two, one, boom. Three, two, one, boom. Well, Thrive Nation, we have an opportunity all the time.


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